What does a driving record contain that a driving abstract does not?

A certified driving record is a comprehensive report that includes the license classes you have, the number and descriptions of all traffic violations you have committed and all your personal information (your social security number, date of birth, physical address and other identifying information). This information is stored by your local DMV in your personal driving record file. Your driving record will also identify the number of points on your license and generally illustrate your driving history for up to ten years.

A driving record abstract is more of a general overview of your driving history; depending on your state’s DMV policies, it may include the number of points on your license, license classes you belong to and restrictions placed on your driver’s license. It may also include any accidents you have been involved in and describe any traffic violations you have committed within the last one to three years. However, a driving record abstract does not contain your social security number or other sensitive information.

Driving abstracts are usually what employers request before hiring someone as a driver or delivery person. They may need this information to assure themselves that the person is a responsible driver and can be trusted with a company vehicle. Your certified driving record is not usually necessary to gain employment.

Insurance companies may also request driving abstracts before insuring a motorist to determine if you are a high-, medium-, or low-risk driver. The amount of negative information on your driving record will help the insurance company decide what your premiums will be; if you don’t have any points, accidents or traffic infractions, your premium will be comparatively low.

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